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Home care nurses go above and beyond to help patients during COVID-19

Posted at 10:28 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 01:03:21-04

OGDEN, Utah — Home and hospice care doctors and nurses are working around the clock to care for one of the most vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 crisis.

Many of them are stepping outside of their normal duties, to make sure their elderly and disabled patients get the care they need.

On Tuesday afternoon, Amber Harvey walked into Donna Heslin's apartment.

"I just brought you more groceries," she said, showing Donna the group of plastic bags Amber set on the counter.

Donna lives in a senior housing community. The 88-year old explained how they've made changes during COVID-19, like closing things down and bringing food to everyone's rooms.

"How have you been feeling with everything?" Amber asked.

"Well, I'm bored," Donna replied.

Many senior living facilities have started to limit visitors, as they protect elderly patients from contracting COVID-19.

Amber is able to visit because she's an RN Case Manager with Envision Home Health and Hospice.

The company offers in-home physician services and telemedicine.

Amber explained they prevent patients from having to go to clinics or the ER, and instead have access to physician and nursing care in their own homes.

She took Donna's vitals, though right now Amber's role goes beyond a normal check-up.

"There comes a certain point in time when you put aside your profession, and you focus on people," Amber said. "They need that extra bit of love, and that extra bit of empathy."

She and her fellow Envision nurses and doctors are working long hours as they make house calls and brave the grocery stores for their patients.

Early on Tuesday afternoon, Amber went by the grocery store and picked through the empty isles to buy food for Donna.

She wanted to make sure Donna's fridge stayed stocked.

Amber delivered the food along with her medical care, to make sure Donna was taken care of in all the COVID-19 craziness.

"It's important to her to feel connected to somebody, connected to outside world," Amber said, of Donna.

Amber and Donna talked about what's changed lately.

"As long as I got my Coke!" Donna joked. She asked Amber to bring her one from the fridge, and Amber happily obliged.

Even if it's something as little as grabbing Donna's favorite drink, it's making a difference.

"It's wonderful, because we know somebody cares," Donna said.

And that's all that matters to Amber.

"At the end of our visits, they know that we're here for them," she said. "We're going to all get through it together."

For more information on Envision Home Health and Hospice, please call 866-471-5733, 801-664-1234 or visit this website.